Celebrate New Year’s with a Local Sparkling Wine
More than 50 Santa Barbara wineries craft bubbly in the méthode traditionelle or méthode champenoise style used in French Champagnes
In the year since I wrote about Santa Barbara’s plethora of sparkling wines, even more winemakers have jumped on bubbly bandwagon and are crafting stellar goods popular with holiday revelers.
Among those joining more seasoned sparkling producers (Flying Goat, Kessler-Haak, Lucas & Lewellen, Mosby and Riverbench) are Casa Dumetz, Cebada, Dreamcote, Fiddlehead, LouBud,
Presqu’ile and Zotovich.
Since chardonnay and pinot noir are two of our county’s most widely planted wine grapes, it stands to reason that blanc de blancs (“white from white”) and blanc de noirs (“white from black” sparklers are favored by many Santa Barbara County winemakers.
There are too many to list here, but if you’re curious, download the this Sparkling Wine Map produced by Liz Dodder Hansen.
Dodder Hansen, a resident of Atascadero, has crafted maps for both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.
She includes details on the more than 50 Santa Barbara County wineries that currently offer sparkling wines, either for tasting (less common) or sale by the bottle (more common).
Some of the smaller wineries limit sparkling tastings to wine club members.
Earlier this month, the San Francisco Chronicle referenced Dodder Hansen’s sparkling wine guides in a story on the prevalence of bubblies produced on the West Coast.
The story mentioned the tiny label LouBud Wines. At the helm is Laura Roach, whose day job is assistant winemaker as Sanford Winery & Vineyards outside of Lompoc.
Roach produces only a couple of barrels of two wines: Rosé of pinot noir and a méthode champenoise sparkling wine, also pinot noir, from Cebada Vineyards on the county’s cool, western edge.
Pairing holiday sparkling wines: Cheese, cheese and cheese. Choose quality over quantity, with some good blue cheese as the ringleader. Hard cheddar and creamy brie will round out the platter.
As always, drink responsibly or hire a driver, and savor the marriage of a good sparkling wine and small bites of cheese with good bread. Salud!